Folk

Singer/Songwriter Tift Merritt Returns With See You On The Moon

See You On the Moon is Tift Merritt's most visceral work to date. A deeply centered departure, these focused and creative musical short stories find Tift at the height of her powers. "I wanted to make
a really direct record. I wanted to take everything to a place that was less labored, of more depth. Open space, real strength. There was a certain feeling of inevitability about it. Like I found these songs whole."
To bring her musical short stories to life, Merritt recruited Tucker Martine, best known for his work with Bill Frisell, The Decemberists, Sufjan Stevens, Laura Veirs, Spoon, and as one of Paste magazine's top ten producers of the decade. Martine produced, recorded and mixed the record while receiving a detailed tour of Tift's native turf.  "It made a lot of sense to take this record back to North Carolina,” she added. “Build a fort in our own backyard." With longtime band mates Zeke Hutchins on drums, Jay Brown on bass and vocals, and guitar player Scott McCall, the Martine-Merritt partnership sounds firmly anchored in the deep water of home while deliberately and wholeheartedly venturing from the docks. "Tucker has such a gentle way of bringing the best out of people, of taking the time to see what you are really made of and getting at, and coaxing you further from there. We wanted to come at things from different directions, not go straight for a band combo, really build around the songs rather than some idea of how things were supposed to happen.  I played more instruments on this record than any other I've made."  At heart, See You On the Moon is a profoundly focused Tift doing what she does best better than she ever has - poignant writing and performing welded to the steady pursuit of new places. Joining the ‘Moon’ sessions were, among others, celebrated pedal steel guitarist Greg Leisz and My Morning Jacket’s Yim Yames who adds hauntingly beautiful harmony to album centerpiece Feel of the World.
In her nascent career, Tift Merritt has already produced an impressive body of work and earned a passionate, dedicated audience. Her live performances, both with her band and on her own, are similarly riveting. Tift's preceding albums are 2002’s debut Bramble Rose, 2005’s Grammy nominated Tambourine, and 2008’s widely acclaimed Another Country. 2010’s stellar See You On The Moon is a most important step forward in a remarkable artistic journey that continues to search, penetrate, and surprise.
TOUR DATES
June 3  - Charlottesville, VA  - The Jefferson Theater  (w/ Ryan Bingham)
June 4 - Charlotte, NC -  The Visulite
June 5 - Raleigh, NC - North Carolina Museum of Art *
June 7 - Annapolis, MD - The Ram’s Head *
June 8 - Pittsburgh, PA - Three Rivers Arts Festival (w/Jason Isbell)
June 11 - Albany, NY - Linda Norris Theatre *
June 12 - Burlington, VT - Higher Ground *
June 15 - Philadelphia, PA - World Café Live *
June 16 - Alexandria, VA - The Birchmere *
June 17 -  New York, NY - The Hiro Ballroom *
June 18 - Northampton, MA - The Iron Horse *
June 19 - Boston, MA  - Paradise Rock Club
June 25 - Atlanta, GA - Botanical Gardens (w/ Emmylou Harris)
June 26 - Freeport, ME - LL Bean Summer In the Park Concert Series
July 2 - Westhampton Beach, NY - Westhampton Beach PAC *+
July 16 - Charleston, SC - The Pour House
July 17 - Wilmington, NC - Greenfield Lake Amphitheater
July 22 - Asheville, NC - The Orange Peel *+
July 25 - Floyd, VA - Floyd Fest
July 28 - Louisville, KY - WFPK Outdoor Concert
July 29 - Ann Arbor, MI - The Ark
July 30 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
July 31 - Milwaukee, WI - Shank Hall
Aug. 1 - Minneapolis, MN - The Fine LineAug. 13 - Lyons, CO - Rocky Mountain Folks Festival

Performing Artist Jill King To Release New Album RAIN ON FIRE

Songstress Jill King releases on April 6 a new studio album, RAIN ON FIRE (Foundher Records), which the artist describes as life-changing for its renewal of her passion for music and for life and as a gift for listeners who might need a similar lift upward.

The new CD is a collection of heartfelt and thought-provoking love songs and ballads written and co-written by King that mesh blues, pop, R&B, country and jazz into her solid folk-rock sound, elevated by her stunning vocals and the slide and steel guitar vibe of Australian Michael Flanders, who produced the album with King.

It includes “Beautiful World,” “California” and “I’ll Keep Loving You” — three songs that reflect King’s life journey through joy and sorrow — as well as “Mark on Me,” which features a spoken-word intro and outro by Steven Johnson, the grandson of blues legend Robert Johnson, and the sensual “Undertow,” which was featured in the February 26 episode of the Web soap “Venice The Series.”

King and Flanders were joined in the studio by an array of respected musicians and friends including Congress House Studios’ Mark Hallman on bass, drums, loops, percussion, B3 and piano as well as Brady Blade (drums, percussion), Victor Broden (bass), Jason Millhouse (fat guitars), Bruce Holloway (guitar), Phil Madeira (piano, accordion, B3), Savannah Jo Lack (violin, string arrangement & performance), Rob Mackay (strings, tenor ukulele), Denise Locke (keyboards), Alex Torrez and Ben Flanders (percussion), and Thom Flora, Doug Stokes and Nels Andrews (background vocals) and a gospel choir made up of Marsha Hancock, Alana Griffith, Christina Taddonio.

A special-edition version of the CD includes a fascinating book by King that intricately details the impetus behind each of the songs, an essay on the making of the album and documentary photography by Nashville-based artist Whitney Jones.

King will put together a band for extensive touring behind the album that includes shows through August across the Southeast and California and Texas.

Born and raised in deep-South Arab, Ala., King was singing solos in church at 3 and was playing guitar and writing songs by age 10, when she made her first record at a local studio. Being surrounded by heaven-and-hell ideologies and later her brother’s death from cancer have influenced her life, her songwriting and her sound: a mix of genres, moods and messages.

A.A. Bondy: January/February Headlining Tour Dates

A.A. Bondy has announced a new headlining tour that will begin January 8th in Memphis, TN, and wrap up February 3rd in Buffalo, NY.  Currently winding down a run of headline dates, he will perform his final show of 2009 tonight at the Bowery Ballroom in New York, NY.

Bondy has been on the road nearly non-stop since June in support of his sophomore album When The Devil's Loose.  Released September 1st by Fat Possum Records, the album has been praised by NPR, Spin, Nylon, Time Out New York, The A.V. Club, American Songwriter, Blurt, V Magazine, and Popmatters, among others.  His current headlining performances have been drawing high marks as well, with The A.V. Club Milwaukee calling his November 24th show "quietly captivating" and noting "He knows when to keep it simple and understated, like on the set opener 'Mightiest Of Guns' or 'I Can See The Pines Are Dancing'-both off of this year's When The Devil's Loose-and when to throw mid-song curveballs that can transform the otherwise plaintive 'A Slow Parade' from a whisper to a scream."

Over the past six months, Bondy has toured with Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band, The Felice Brothers, and Elvis Perkins in Dearland, in addition to several headlining tours.  He also performed at the Bonnaroo and Sasquatch! music festivals this year.

Additionally, Bondy has had songs placed on several television shows recently: ABC's "Good Morning America," FOX's "House" and "Bones," NBC's "Friday Night Lights," and the CW's "One Tree Hill."

A.A. Bondy tour dates:

DEC. 9          NEW YORK, NY                  BOWERY BALLROOM
JAN. 8           MEMPHIS, TN                    HI-TONE CAFÉ
JAN. 9           FAYETTEVILLE, AR             GEORGE'S MAJESTIC LOUNGE
JAN. 11         FORT WORTH, TX               LOLA'S
JAN. 12         SANTA FE, NM                   SANTA FE BREWING COMPANY
JAN. 13         PHOENIX, AZ                     RHYTHM ROOM
JAN. 14         TUCSON, AZ                      SOLAR CULTURE
JAN. 15         SAN DIEGO, CA                  THE CASBAH
JAN. 16         LOS ANGELES, CA              EAGLE ROCK CENTER FOR THE ARTS
JAN. 18         SANTA BARBARA, CA          MUDDY WATERS
JAN. 19         VISALIA, CA                      CELLAR DOOR
JAN. 20         SAN FRANCISCO, CA          CAFÉ DU NORD
JAN. 22         PORTLAND, OR                  MISSISSIPPI STUDIOS
JAN. 23         SEATTLE, WA                     THE TRACTOR TAVERN
JAN. 25         SPOKANE, WA                   THE BLVD
JAN. 26         BOISE, ID                         NEUROLUX
JAN. 27         SALT LAKE CITY, UT            URBAN LOUNGE
JAN. 28         DENVER, CO                      HI-DIVE
JAN. 29         LAWRENCE, KS                  JACKPOT MUSIC HALL
JAN. 30         AMES, IA                           MAINTENANCE SHOP
FEB. 1           MADISON, WI                    HIGH NOON SALOON
FEB. 2           ANN ARBOR, MI                  BLIND PIG
FEB. 3           BUFFALO, NY                     MOHAWK PLACE

Vandaveer @ George's

Vandaveer is the alt-folk song-singing/record making/globetrotting project penned and put forth by DC-by-way-of-Kentucky tunesmith Mark Charles Heidinger.

Vandaveer’s debut album, Grace & Speed, a mostly live, stripped down affair, swiftly entered this great big dusty world in the spring of 2007. The press responded heartily, with The Washington Post saying Vandaveer “revives the earnestness of the pre-psychedelic 60’s,” and XM Cafe calling him “this generation’s Nick Drake.”

Vandaveer’s debut album, Grace & Speed, a mostly live, stripped down affair, swiftly entered this great big dusty world in the spring of 2007 garnering rave reviews and comparisons to Donovan, Dylan, Waits, Drake, Simon, and the like. Touring continually on both sides of the Atlantic ever since, Vandaveer has played 250+ shows, sharing stages with a host of humbling artists including Bon Iver, Alejandro Escovedo, Vashti Bunyan, Vetiver, Evan Dando, Scout Niblett, The Ditty Bops, Smog, Fleet Foxes, Alela Diane and his dear friends in DC’s ramshackle collective, The Federal Reserve. In addition to said Vandaveering, Heidinger has been known to fraternize and conspire with other music-making hooligans, primarily as a bassist with fellow DCers These United States.

Listen: http://www.sad-music.net/vandaveer_turpentine.mp3

Radio 1190 presents
VANDAVEER
Saturday, November 21
show 9:30pm

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George's Food & Drink
2028 14th Street
Boulder, CO 80302
303.998.9350
www.bouldertheater.com/georges.php

Steve Earle @ Boulder Theater

Steve Earle will be touring in support of his newest album, Townes, his highly anticipated follow up to the Grammy Award winning album Washington Square Serenade.

Steve Earle had two reasons for coming out with this long-planned tribute to Townes Van Zandt now. The first reason is practical. Earle is currently pushing himself to finish a years-in-the-making novel, and he wants to see it in print before the publishing business goes belly up.

The second is a more personal concern. Like all artists worthy of the name, Steve Earle loves the truth, and in the case of Van Zandt, he sees that the waters are muddying before his eyes. Very often over periods of years, the truth first becomes myth and myth later becomes truth. In regards to his teacher, hero and friend Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle was not about to let that happen.

While being a protégé of Van Zandt, Earle is a master storyteller in his own right, with his songs being recorded by Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings, Travis Tritt, The  Pretenders, Joan Baez and countless others.  1986 saw the release of his debut record, Guitar Town, which shot to number one of the country charts and immediately established the term “New Country.”  What followed was an extremely exciting array of twelve releases including the biting hard rock of Copperhead Road (1988), the minimalist beauty of Train A Comin’ (1995), the politically charged masterpiece Jerusalem (2002) and the Grammy Award Winning albums The Revolution Starts…Now (2004) and Washington Square Serenade (2007).  Earle also produced the Grammy nominated album, Day After Tomorrow, by the legendary Joan Baez in 2008.

97.3 KBCO & Boulder Weekly present
STEVE EARLE
w/ guests
Tuesday, February 2
doors 7:00pm, show 8:00pm

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Boulder Theater
2032 14th Street
Boulder, CO 80302
303.786.7030
www.bouldertheater.com

Billy Crockett To Release 'Wishing Sky' November 3

Veteran singer-songwriter-producer-master guitarist Billy Crockett will release on November 3 his new record, the artful and melodic WISHING SKY (Blue Rock Artists), with its smart and insightful lyrics and virtuoso instrumentation.

Crockett’s one-of-a-kind sound — fresh, thought-through lyrics included — is exemplified by WISHING SKY and its authentic songs of love and life and the handling of both from what the writer describes as a new point of view that crystallized during a respite from touring and the planning and building of Blue Rock Artist Ranch and Studio in Wimberley, Texas.

With cameo appearances by Jon Dee Graham, Ray Bonneville, Paul English and Lloyd Maines, Crockett’s WISHING SKY features “Feel It,” about how thinking too much can get in the way of good stuff (the tango, for instance, he says); “Meant That,” about longing for authenticity and finding it in a word, guitar solo, a dog howling at the moon or in the way she walks; and “Long Live This Love,” an audacious appeal for lasting love.

“After nine years, I wrote and recorded the album, songs of independent observation, free of institutional ties. In a way, I’m starting over,” he says. “I have tried to strip down my own language and ideas to something essential, tell my story, and maybe ours, to anyone. No proclamations, no codes and credos. Now it seems more about the simple story.”

Another cut from the album, “Ticking of Her Heart,” about how fear, alienation and depression consume a self, is a co-write with the great Pierce Pettis. The recording also includes a timely pep talk to Americans, “Back on the Horse”: “… the only chance we have, of course, is to get our asses back on the horse. …”

And there is a horse named WISHING SKY: a 2-year-old thoroughbred, black with a white comet streak across his forehead, that is named for the album and title track (about two people listening to ancient voices under the night sky) that lives and trains in Louisiana and will start racing next month.

In 1999, Crockett dedicated the album SIMPLE PLANS and a yearlong 40-stop tour to efforts by Habitat for Humanity and the communities it serves. He’s also written and recorded PASSAGES, an album of classical guitar pieces. In 2006, he and his wife, Dodee, founded Blue Rock Artist Ranch and Studio, where he is creative director and has produced albums for Cliff Eberhardt, Grace Pettis and others in its state-of-art recording facility there.

Crockett will play a special album release show at Austin’s famed Cactus Cafe on November 18.

For more information, visit www.billycrocket.com and www.bluerocktexas.com.

Gregory Alan Isakov on Tour with Brandi Carlile

Singer/songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov hits the road with Americana artist Brandi Carlile for a string of March and April 2009 dates. Isakov's forthcoming album release, This Empty Northern Hemisphere (May 19, 2009), features a duet with Carlile - a cut of Leonard Cohen's "One of Us Cannot Be Wrong." Carlile also performs on four of the album's original songs.

It was while touring that Isakov first caught the attention of Carlile. The pair have since become collaborators and friends.  For this special run of dates, Isakov and Carlile are sure to bring some of their recent collaborations live to the stage.

The current list of confirmed tour dates with Gregory Alan Isakov and Brandi Carlile is as follows:

March 24 World Cafe Philadelphia PA
March 25 Ram's Head Annapolis MD
March 26 Birchmere Washington DC
March 27 Woodstock Town Hall Theatre Woodstock VT
March 28 Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center Westhampton Beach NY
March 31 Tarrytown Music Hall Tarrytown NY
April 01 The Music Hall Portsmouth NH
April 02 Iron Horse Northampton MA
April 03 South Portland Auditorium South Portland ME
April 04 Ethical Center for the Arts New York NY
April 06 Kent Stage Kent OH
April 07 The Vogue Indianapolis IN
April 08 Lakeshore Theater Chicago IL
April 09 Pabst Theater Milwaukee WI
April 10 Alltel Center Mankato MN
April 11 Hoyt Sherman Theater Des Moines IA
Aril 14 Wheeler Opera House Aspen CO

This Empty Northern Hemisphere is Isakov's latest collection of songs in which he conjures the miracles and heartaches of day to day living then transforms them into melodies, with a serious commitment to songcraft and musicianship.

"Writing and performing is a mystery to me," explains the South African born multi-instrumentalist. "I try to get myself out of the way as much as I can."

"There were moments while making the new album that were so different than anything I've done before," says Isakov, who combines his personal past with poetry to create a musically visceral present.

His music dubbed "punk folk" by the Indigo Girls' Amy Ray, Isakov has been recognized by critics and colleagues as a real and original talent. In 2008, Denver's Westword named Isakov their Best Acoustic Folk Artist.  The previous year he was given the paper's Best of Denver Singer-Songwriter award; they called him "a rootsier Glen Phillips channeling Kelly Joe Phelps."

Comparisons bother Isakov; he's brought his influences into the fold for This Empty Northern Hemisphere. "Everyone I've ever listened to made it into the record--It's like a traveling circus." And Isakov is its truth and beauty-seeking ringmaster.

Akron/Family plays Oriental Theatre | 3/17/09

RICHIE HAVENS ON TOUR THIS WINTER

photos by Laura McDaniel- for the Grateful Web

A sense of timelessness rings throughout Richie Havens' latest release, Nobody Left to Crown, as though the passing years have only strengthened the meaning of his soul-filled folk rock. Nobody Left to Crown, recently released to the US on Verve Records this past July, attests that Richie Havens has never been more relevant, necessary even, than he is today.

Gifted with one of the most recognizable voices in popular music, Richie Havens has a soulful singing style that remains as unique and ageless as when he first emerged from the Greenwich Village folk scene in the early 1960s. It's a voice that has inspired and electrified audiences from the Woodstock Music & Arts Fair in 1969, to the Clinton Presidential Inauguration in 1993 - coming full circle with the 30th Woodstock Anniversary celebration, "A Day In The Garden", in 1999. Richie Havens is not a man to easily abandon his hopes for a better world. "We are at the dawn of major change", he declares with a broad smile.  Nobody Left to Crown is his heartfelt and unwavering contribution to these fine aspirations.

For over three decades, Richie has used his music to convey messages of brotherhood and personal freedom. With more than twenty-five albums released and a touring schedule that would kill many a younger man, he continues to view his calling as a higher one.  As he told The Denver Post, "I really sing songs that move me.  I'm not in show business; I'm in the communications business.  That's what it's about for me".

Richie Havens tours this summer and fall in support of Nobody Left to Crown.  His current list of tour dates is as follows:

The current list of confirmed tour dates is as follows:

January 17 Sons of Hermann Hall Dallas TX
January 18 Manship Theater at Shaw Center for the Arts Baton Rouge LA
January 23 Anthology San Diego CA
January 24 The Palmdale Playhouse Palmdale CA
January 30 Fairfield Theatre Company Fairfield CT
January 31 Barre Opera House Barre VT
February 06 The Firehouse Coffeehouse Littleton MA
February 07 Veritas Auditorium Chicopee MA
February 08 Carol Autorino Center / Hoffman Auditorium West Hartford CT
February 13 Coconino Center for the Arts Flagstaff AZ
February 14 Rhythm Room Phoenix AZ
February 15 Temple of Music and Art Tucson AZ
February 20 Kirkland Performance Center Kirkland WA with Harry Manx
February 22 Aladdin Theater Portland OR
February 25 Kayhi Auditorium Ketchikan AK
February 28 Mariner Theatre Homer AK
March 01 Alaska Center for the Performing Arts - Discovery Theatre Anchorage AK
March 05 Northern California Center for the Arts Grass Valley CA
March 06 Napa Valley Opera House Napa CA with Harry Manx
March 07 Great American Music Hall San Francisco CA with Harry Manx
March 20 Irvington Town Hall Theater Irvington NY with Cliff Eberhardt
April 17 Macomb Center for the Performing Arts Clinton Township MI with Harry Manx
April 18 Jasper Community Arts Commission Jasper IN with Harry Manx
April 23 Thrasher Opera House Green Lake WI with Harry Manx
April 24 Stoughton Opera House Stoughton WI with Harry Manx
April 25 ECC Blizzard Theatre Elgin IL with Harry Manx
April 26 University Church West Lafayette IN with Harry Manx
May 15 Metropolitan Museum of Art New York NY
May 16 Algonquin Arts Manasquan NJ
May 28 Cedar Cultural Center Minneapolis MN
May 29 Paramount Theatre Austin TX

Todd Snider @ Boulder Theater

Todd Snider- for the Grateful Web

Keith Richards said humor was rock and roll's greatest weapon, Bob Dylan proved it and Todd Snider takes it to heart. For twelve years, Snider has been a satirist, class cutup and the rare artist who understands and celebrates the connections between the Stones, Dylan, Bill Hicks, John Prine, Mitch Hedberg, Kris Kristofferson, Hunter S. Thompson and Randy Newman. Snider's records are fun even when they aren't being funny, funny even when they're sad, and no less truthful for the laughs.

For fans of rock 'n' roll, folk, country and Americana music have long been held in Snider's sway. His last album, 2006's The Devil You Know, landed him on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and Late Night With David Letterman, and it appeared on numerous year-end Top 10 lists. Peace Queer, his newest release, is just the beginning of his typically unique vision. It is the first in a trilogy. Even as we celebrate the release of Peace Queer, Snider is already working on the follow-up, with Rolling Stones producer Don Was. After that, there will be a rock album called Shit Sandwich.

TODD SNIDER @ the Boulder Theater on Friday, January 30th, 2009

Boulder Theater
2032 14th Street
Boulder, CO 80302
303.786.7030